Merkel is desperately trying to stay in power, while Macron is chasing popularity, Kiszelly said. He pointed out that a recent Bertelsmann poll showed that every third German constituent sympathizes with the position of the so-called populist parties and 13 percent of them would now cast their vote for the far-right party Alternative for Germany (AfD).
As a consequence, both Merkel’s own Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and their Bavarian sister party Christian Social Union (CSU) have been pushed to the right.
“Should the CSU show a weak performance at the upcoming Bavarian elections and the CDU also poorly at the Hessen regional elections, Merkel may well be replaced as the party’s leader at their December congress,” Kiszelly said.
He also reminded that at a recent forum in Augsburg Merkel had quite a noteworthy change of tack, grudgingly admitting Hungary’s role in defending Europe’s borders.
“(Orbán) always points out how well he is defending the border, which I otherwise find correct and I have never spoken against his defense of the borders, because (Hungary) has outer Schengen borders, but this unfortunately was not yet built when so many migrants arrived,” Merkel said at the Bavarian forum.
Meanwhile in France, Macron has come under attack for a selfie with two young men during his recent Caribbean visit, one of whom made an indecent gesture. Macron has been trapped in several such situations while seeking popularity, a game he is not very good at, Kiszelly said.